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Mary Hale

Birth Date: July 18, 1950
Death Date: May 26, 2018

Mary Martha Rowe Hale was born July 18th, 1950 in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. She was the 11th of twelve children born to Eva Lena Merhens Moore Rowe and the 3rd of 4 children of Herbert Rowe. Mary spent her early years in Mt. Pulaski and later moved with her parents to Decatur, where she attended Dennis School and later graduated from MacArthur High School. Along with her good friend, Becky Benazee Songer, she then attended Wabash valley Jr. College in Mt. Carmel Illinois. It was there she met Dudley and fell head over heels in love! The feelings were mutual. (Dudley later transformed into Dale, but that’s another story.) Mary was united in marriage with Dale Emerson Hale on July 18th, 1969. (her 19th birthday) Together, they took on the world and raised their family, 3 wonderful sons, Chris, Sean, and Ben. Over the years, Mary worked at many part time and seasonal endeavors including secretarial work, Felicity Fashions seamstress, accounting at PJ Patterson’s, K-Mart North, waitress at Best Western, and Final Assembly Technician at Zexel Automotive. She also helped Dale restore and remodel numerous houses, some of which they lived in and some of which they flipped or rented as the situation dictated. When I say she helped, she really helped; tear outs, painting, drywalling, pulling wires, even roofing. There was little she would not attempt. Always there, beside her man. But mostly she was a Mom.

Through all these endeavors she always put her family first and if it were a choice between time with them and work, work always took the back seat.

She was a dedicated T-ball mom while in Cerro Gordo, often riding to the ball park on her bike with child’s seat, (front and rear) and Christ following close behind on his bike- what a sight it was! Then, a Cub Scout Den Leader as well as being active with the PTA. Later when we moved to Decatur, she was the bus driver for the Hale clan for everything from rides to school to the JFL football games, wrestling, and of course back up transportation for the Boy Scout Troop whenever necessary. Did I mention there was always something Dale needed from the hardware store or the lumber yard? Somewhere in there, a hobby of restoring antiques grew and was formed into “Auntie M’s Antiques”.

Even with all this, she managed to accumulate 3 daughters-in-law and 9 grandchildren, thanks to a little help from our sons. She often said the only thing better than family is more family and she always had an ample supply of love to go around. Road trips, camping all over the country (often in a tent when we were both younger). Auctions, the 127 garage sale, Covered Bridge Festival, the Bloomington Flea Market, and of course, trips to S.E. Tennessee. If we weren’t at home we would be “there”.

The world changed for the Hale clan on February 3rd, 2013 when Mary suffered a massive Cerebral Hemorrhage. Her life was saved by emergency surgery performed by Dr Rahmon. While recovering from the stroke, she began to develop symptoms of Dementia which later diagnosed as Early Onset Alzheimer’s. After about 6 months at home it became necessary for transfer her to Heartland of Decatur on their “Arcadia” wing. With frequent visits from family and friends she became comfortable and settled there and received the best care available for advanced patients.

Mary leaves to celebrate and cherish her memory her best friend and soul mate, Dale; her sons, Christopher A. (Lindsay), T. Sean (Julianne), and Benjamin J. (Stacie); her grandchildren, Maggie, Aleita, Truman, Tatum, Harper, Kaylin, Emmett, Colhman, and Elle; her brothers, Richard (Sally) Moore and Tom Moore; her sisters, Darlene Landers and Paulin (Ed) Tooley along with a multitude of cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. And, oh the friends!

She was preceded and joins in Heaven; four step-brothers, John Moore, Paul Moore, Melvin Moore and David Moore; one sister, Rosemary Rowe; two brothers, Wendell and Walter Rowe.

She was a kind and gentle soul who always radiated with the most wonderful smile. Mary possessed a wonderful sense of humor (though sometimes a bit twisted–she got that from her husband) which she passed on to her children and grandchildren. Yet, if pushed to anger, she could give you the look, you never wanted that! We that knew her have been so blessed by her presence here on earth. Our love for her will endure time and she will always be in our hearts. Someday, we will be able to speak of Mary without a tear, only a smile. But not today. To every time there is a season and a purpose at the throne of God. See you soon.

Video Tribute for Mary Hale:

Funeral Service
May 31, 2018
7:00 pm
Graceland / Fairlawn Funeral Home
2091 N. Oakland Avenue Decatur, IL 62526
Get Directions
May 31, 2018
4:30 pm
- 7:00 pm
Graceland / Fairlawn Funeral Home
2091 N. Oakland Avenue Decatur, IL 62526
Get Directions
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  1. Although I did not know Mary for very long, a person did not have to know her for very long to be able to see what a thoughtful, kind and generous human being she was. The first time I met Mary and Dale (at an auction) the two of them helped me move a very large, heavy piece of furniture for no reason other than the kindness of their hearts (because they saw I needed help). For their act of kindness to a stranger, from that moment on, Mary and Dale will always have a soft spot in my heart. I imagine Mary created a lot of soft spots in a lot of hearts. For now my heart goes out especially to Dale, her children and grand children, those who knew and loved Mary most and best of all. I also imagine Mary would tell you if she could that she would want your memories of her to bring you joy, not sadness. May time and prayers help you along that path.

  2. Mary and I met at church when we were young teens. We went to different high schools but our friendship was true. We went to Mt. Carmel, Il to Jr. College and Mary fell in love with Dale Hale. We were nieve and dropped out of school, bought a round trip bus ticket to Miami, Fl., off to be migrant workers (not knowing that would not happen). We took several suit cases and would sleep on the beach. Most miserable trip we ever took. Rained, rained, and rained. We came home and Mary married Dale and started their beautiful family. Dale and the boys were her love. We kept in contact annually with Christmas cards, for years they were pictures of the boys as they grew.
    A real, true friend does not have to see talk, or be with each other every day. I loved Mary, and am heart broken that she is gone. Due tto the circumstances, I know she suffers no more and is in the Lords presence.
    Dale, I pray for peace for you, the boys and their families. I love you. Becky Beneze Songer.

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